Lest you think CyanogenMod is all about the (commercial) Cyanogen OS lately, this new update from the open source community should reassure you that it is business as usual. In fact, you could probably say business is booming. Following up on their previous CyangenMod 12.1 report, the team is now detailing a few more changes that users can look forward to when the nightlies hit the build machines. And indeed, there are some rather interesting features up ahead, proving once again that innovation doesn’t go to sleep at CyanogenMod.
Those flashing or updating to CM 12 or 12.1 might be in for a shock when they try to setup root access and realize, to their horror, that there is none. That’s not true however. Root access is still there, though disabled by default. What CM has changed is how users can reach the settings. Instead of a distinct settings page for superuser access, CM 12 will incorporate the switches inside the Privacy Guard interface. This, then, becomes your one stop shop for enabling or disabling permissions, both regular ones as well as superuser ones.
There will be two new display-related features coming to CyanogenMod but, given their nature, they will be entirely dependent on the device and its screen. LiveDisplay delivers f.lux-like control over the display, tweaking brightness, colors, and power usage as much as the user wants. Active Display is also coming to CM in the form of Ambient Display, giving users a glance of the notifications on their screen without completely opening up the display. The double tap to wake functionality popularized by LG will also be landing here. Again, depending on the display, which usually means an AMOLED screen.
Trebuchet might not be the most popular Android launcher around and even CM users might have already replaced it when they install the ROM. That said, for loyalists, there is a new feature making its way to CM 12.1 as well. Now users can choose between the usual paged layout of the launcher or a single, continuous vertical scrolling grid, complete a scrubber to jump to places.
Perhaps the most contentious new “feature” will be the revamped Settings app. No, CM won’t be doing a Samsung. At least, not completely. It will, however, reorganize some of the settings and adding a few extra switches for convenience, like being able to turn Wi-Fi on or off right on the very top level of the settings.
CyanogenMod 12.1, which is based already on Android 5.1, is almost ready for the nightlies. The CM team is just making sure that the upgrade process for users will be painless and wont result in loss of data. But before that, a formal CyanogenMod 12.0 release will be made sometime this April, just to get the ball rolling already.